This may come as a surprise but people can legally dig through your trash. That’s right. In the case of California vs. Greenwood, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision stated that the “expectation of privacy in trash left for collection in an area accessible to the public… is unreasonable.”
Most of us can't imagine why our trash and junk disposal practices matter that much. And they wouldn't if it weren't for the credit card receipts, bank account statements and other paper trash that may be in there.
Stealing Your Identity from Your Garbage
Identity thieves often make the rounds of trash containers and dumpsters knowing that on any given day they will find bits and pieces of junk mail, personal and business statements, receipts and other items. Experienced identity thieves know what to look for and where to find it.
And they do.
For example, more than 13.1 million Americans were victims of identity fraud in 2013 according to AARP. And in 2015, over 100,000 complaints were filed with the Federal Trade Commission in New York alone, many of them involving identity theft.
In fact, every day, Americans discard tons of paper trash, much of which contains personal information. Trash that contains documents with information such as return addresses on envelopes can provide criminals with the names of your bank, your insurance companies, doctor, and others. By themselves, they may not mean much. Taken together, they can provide a wealth of information about you.
If all these items were shredded first, the information becomes irretrievable.
Why Shredding Your Personal Papers Matters
Security experts agree that when it comes to paper trash you should shred yours first. What should you shred? As a general rule, you should shred anything that contains a signature, an account number, social security number, or any medical or legal information. The problem is that most people – and even businesses – never bother to take that precaution. And this leads to identity theft.
Yet, according to the website IdentityTheft.info,
“… identity theft resulting from items stolen from the trash is the easiest type of crime to prevent. By simply shredding any document, receipt, address label, or piece of paper with identifying information like account numbers, we can stop identity thieves in their tracks.”
Too many of us tend to simply tear things in half and toss them in the trash. Unfortunately, there are plenty of identity thieves who will take the time to put these ripped documents back together. This is why security experts emphasize the need for every household have a good quality security shredder.
No matter how your household or business trash is ultimately disposed of, making sure that nothing of value can be gotten from it is critical. And that has to happen before the trash is disposed of. While it may or may not be legal for others to sift through your garbage, making certain that there’s nothing worth finding is critical in preventing this type of identity theft.
What to Do With Your Other Excess Household Garbage
There are quite a few garbage items that your standard municipal garbage service won’t pick up for you. Some of these items include electronics, furniture, appliances and construction materials. Are your garbage items fairly large and heavy? They probably won’t take them in that case either.
Even if your garbage service does pick up your heavy items, you still need to haul the garbage out of your house and out onto the curb. Once the items are on the curb there is no telling whether they might be broken apart and littered on the street near your home. That never looks good.
Junk King provides an efficient, safe and eco-friendly garbage removal service for those items that your standard service won’t pick up. Our experienced garbage removal team will break down and haul off any types of large garbage items you have. We’ll also do all the heavy lifting - no need to carry items out to the curb and have an eyesore for your neighbors to balk at for the week.
Our professional and insured garbage removal team will show up at your home or office and we call 15 minutes before we arrive on site. We’ll give you a free estimate based on how much space your garbage and junk will take up in our truck. You point and we haul the debris into our junk removal trucks, with no hidden fees.
Ready to get rid of your garbage? It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3. You make an appointment by booking online above or by calling 1.888.888.JUNK (5865).